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Summer Movie Mayhem 2011
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Summer Movie Mayhem 2011It’s time to get out your favorite shorts and tropical shirts, the summer movie season is upon us once again.

As always, we at Geeks of Doom present our guide to some of the more anticipated titles on the way so that you can figure out the ones you want to mark off on your calender and the ones you want to skip altogether.

This year we’ll also be jumping back to an older format of ours as well, where we discuss the anticipation element and potential suckage factor of the movies that are coming out.

You can check out the entire list of summer movies by clicking on over to the other side now, and please share what you’re most looking forward to in the comments below!

THOR
DIRECTOR: Kenneth Branagh
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Rene Russo
RELEASE DATE: May 6
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Marvel is revving up for a mammoth summer movie season before the release of The Avengers next year with two giant titles being released just a couple of months apart. The first of the two movies set to hit this summer is Thor, which is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god.

There’s no denying that most of us love comic book movies, but a lot of them tend to have a heavy science fiction background to them. Thor is the first that has a fairly strong fantasy feel to it, and that’s pretty exciting. A great cast and some promising trailers have most expecting big things from this one.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Earlier in its production, people seemed a little skeptical of the movie. This wasn’t helped with the first few peeks at images of the cast in full costume, which had some certain that something wasn’t right about Thor. But overall, there’s a good chance that the majority of moviegoers will be happy with the final product.

BRIDESMAIDS
DIRECTOR: Paul Feig
STARRING: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Matt Lucas, Jill Clayburgh, Rebel Wilson, Michael Hitchcock
RELEASE DATE: May 13
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: At first glance this new comedy from producer Judd Apatow looks aimed at the female crowd, but with an R rating and comparisons dubbing it a female version of The Hangover, Bridesmaids hopes to become one of the season’s top comedies. Anticipation really just depends on your own personal preference here. If Bridesmaids is in fact a female version of The Hangover than it should be a lot of great adult-aimed fun…just with more pink.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: The movie could fall more on the side of the “chick flick” sub-genre, and if this is the case it would turn a lot of people who aren’t so in to that sort of thing off. With a very funny cast, let’s just hope the laughs are big and plentiful.

PRIEST
DIRECTOR: Scott Charles Stewart
STARRING: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins, Brad Dourif, Stephen Moyer
RELEASE DATE: May 13
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Priest is a tough one to hone in on. It looks like it could be very much entertaining with a decent cast led by the great Paul Bettany running around slaughtering ungodly beasts at every turn. That paired with a good post-apocalyptic vibe is a never unwelcome recipe to build from, but was the movie burned during the cooking process? This is the question.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: As fun and entertaining as the movie looks, it also looks like it could crash and burn in horrendous style. The special effects could go either way but sometimes have an I Am Legend feel to them, and the recent stamping of a PG-13 rating screams that this one will let a lot of folks down.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
DIRECTOR: Rob Marshall
STARRING: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin R. McNally, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Sam Claflin, Geoffrey Rush
RELEASE DATE: May 20
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: There’s always going to be a massive anticipation level for a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, no matter whether you’re anticipating to love or hate the movie. It seems half of moviegoers will go into this one expecting the former, while the other half will go in looking for the latter. It’s safe to say that no matter what the anticipation is, all will be hoping that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will return to what the original film delivered.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: It seems more people looked upon the second and third films in the existing trilogy unfavorably, and all of those people are, again, assuming this movie will be right along those same lines…if not worse. This creates a pretty substantial possibility of “suckage,” but as I always say, every one of the movies has been a hell of a lot of fun for me personally, and I expect more of the same here…suckage and all.

THE HANGOVER PART II
DIRECTOR: Todd Phillips
STARRING: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong
RELEASE DATE: May 26
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Following up one of the most popular and financially successful R-rated comedies of all time, The Hangover Part II hopes to replicate or even surpass that level of critical praise and box office glory. Reuniting the entire cast and heading to an even crazier location than Vegas in Bangkok, Thailand, we can’t see what kind of shenanigans these guys get into this time around.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: This is a good example of a movie whose original was so popular and so funny that the anticipation level for the sequel could be too high, ultimately steering it into the suckage realms. We’ve all had movies that were so over-hyped that we ended up not liking them very much, and this movie feels like it could fall victim to itself in that fashion.

KUNG FU PANDA 2
DIRECTOR: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
STARRING: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Victor Garber
RELEASE DATE: May 26
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Kung Fu Panda 2 is the sequel to one of DreamWorks Animation’s most popular and successful animated films, right along with How to Train Your Dragon, and all signs point to the follow-up being another great animated family film with beautiful visuals. And with Jack Black and the entire original voice cast returning, as well as the addition of talents like Gary Oldman, it’d be tough for fans not to be excited about the movie.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Animated sequels very rarely live up to their predecessors…unless you’re watching one from a little place called Pixar, of course. So can Kung Fu Panda come anywhere close to the original or will this be yet another example of DreamWorks trying to cash in on a popular property without putting the necessary efforts into ensuring the same quality, as they’ve famously done with the Shrek franchise?

THE TREE OF LIFE
DIRECTOR: Terrence Malick
STARRING: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
RELEASE DATE: May 27
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: The anticipation element for renowned director Terrence Malick‘s new film, Tree of Life, basically comes solely from the movie’s incredibly gorgeous trailer. The movie looks a lot more like an awards season contender than a summer movie season title, but some of you will surely be looking for such films to cleanse your palates of popcorn flick overdoses.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: For the exact same reason — that this looks like an awards movie — it very well could be worlds away from what you’re looking to see this summer. Most of us want fun, entertaining, theme park ride movies to blow our minds week after week, and Tree of Life won’t be doing that.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn
STARRING: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult
RELEASE DATE: June 3
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Another X-Men movie is finally here! What more anticipation do we need? After Brett Ratner angered the fanboy masses with X-Men: The Last Stand, the third movie in a trilogy started by Bryan Singer with X-Men and X2, we’ve been looking for a new mutant-friendly installment to win us back. X-Men: First Class is a prequel story set in the ’60s when all of the things we saw in the aforementioned movies were first coming together — and with some fantastic trailers released so far, fans can’t wait to get to a theater and see what we’ll get.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Despite how good the trailers have looked, The Last Stand really did do a lot of damage to fan expectation, and if this movie isn’t REALLY good, there is a chance that a significant amount of people won’t be as receptive to it as they might have been pre-2006.

SUPER 8
DIRECTOR: J.J. Abrams
STARRING: Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, Gabriel Basso, Joel Courtney, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Amanda Michalka
RELEASE DATE: June 10
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: A movie inspired by and dedicated to the early movies of Steven Spielberg (who also acts as an executive producer), the anticipation level of Super 8 is through the roof and straight up to the burning sun. The movie tells of a train crash that releases something very strange, and the group of kids making their own movie who witness it. Just a peek at the full trailer and you can see the Spielberg elements oozing out of the movie, and that makes it one of this summer’s absolute can’t miss adventures.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: For the first time thus far in the 2011 Summer Movie Mayhem, I’m at a loss trying to figure out what could possibly suck about Super 8. Director J.J. Abrams is a true talent and has proven himself worthy of standing behind the camera. Everything about the movie feels just right, and my bet is you’ll have to dig to find flaws…am I wrong?

TROLLHUNTER
DIRECTOR: Andre Ovredal
STARRING: Otto Jespersen, Hans Morten Hansen, Tomas Alf Larsen
RELEASE DATE: June 10
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: There’s always some indie and foreign films that look worth seeing during the summer movie season, but here’s a strange and unique foreign indie that I for one can’t wait to check out. Trollhunter comes from Norway and is a “found footage” movie about a group of film students out looking to document the rumored real-life trolls hiding in the Norwegian woods and mountains.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: It’s hard to tell whether this will be good or bad, so the suckage factor is right up there with the anticipation level. Trollhunter feels like a movie that many people will love and many people won’t like, so it really just depends on you and what you’re into. But watching the trailer, it’s certainly a movie that shouldn’t be ignored.

GREEN LANTERN
DIRECTOR: Martin Campbell
STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Jay O. Sanders, Temuera Morrison, Taika Waititi, Jon Tenney, Angela Bassett, Tim Robbins
RELEASE DATE: June 17
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Comic book and movie fans alike have been anticipating Green Lantern for a long time now, and with the charming and funny Ryan Reynolds leading a strong cast, hopes are surely high. What could go wrong, right?

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Many concerns exist about the fact that the Lantern suit Reynolds will be “wearing” is actually digitally added in post production. That paired with worry over wonky and sometimes cartoony special effects seen in the trailers may lead to potential box office failure. On the plus side, it is assumed that some of these problems were from earlier on and that things have been refined and adjusted as the movie has been polished.

MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS
DIRECTOR: Mark Waters
STARRING: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury, Madeline Carroll
RELEASE DATE: June 17
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Overall there’s not a huge anticipation for the new Jim Carrey comedy, Mr. Popper’s Penguins. That said, it could be one of the popular family films to be released this year and those looking for movies to take their little ones to this summer might find a decent option here.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: For everyone who doesn’t have kids, the suckage factor here should be pretty high to be perfectly honest. It doesn’t look like a movie many adults will enjoy, unlike say a DreamWorks or Pixar animated family film, which adults and children alike can enjoy.

CARS 2
DIRECTOR: John Lasseter
STARRING: Owen Wilson, Larry The Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin, Jason Isaacs, Joe Mantegna, Paul Dooley, John Ratzenberger, John Turturro, Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Eddie Izzard, Bruce Campbell
RELEASE DATE: June 24
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Speaking of family-friendly movies that people of all ages can enjoy, Pixar is indeed back this summer with another sequel to one of their movies. Last year it was Toy Story 3, and this summer we have Cars 2, which sees Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) racing in a World Grand Prix and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) falling into a bit of espionage. Pixar has never let us down, so why should we think they would here?

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Cars is one of the least favorite movies Pixar has made, along with A Bug’s Life. The thing about that is that both are still very much liked by most people…they just happen to be at the bottom of a list overflowing with greatness. But could Cars 2 be the first to truly let us down? Maybe…but it’s highly doubtful for one glaring reason: director John Lasseter.

Mr. Lasseter is the godfather of computer animated feature films (watch The Pixar Story on Netflix instant if you haven’t already), and one of the very best at structuring wonderful and compelling stories and characters. It’d be downright shocking if most people didn’t find themselves loving this movie, no matter what their current expectations might be.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
DIRECTOR: Michael Bay
STARRING: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, Ken Jeong, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, Peter Cullen, Tyrese Gibson
RELEASE DATE: July 1
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: With the announcement of the third movie in the Transformers franchise, little to none “anticipation” was to be found anywhere. But as time has moved forward and a couple of trailers have been released, it’s become clear that moviegoers are revved up and ready to give director Michael Bay another chance with Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: An incredible amount of people not only disliked, but downright loathed the last movie in the trilogy, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That movie also had some pretty intense trailers, so it’s hard to say whether Dark of the Moon will recapture the popcorn fun that the first movie delivered or fall flat on its face once again.

ZOOKEEPER
DIRECTOR:
STARRING: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb, Donnie Wahlberg, Ken Jeong, Joe Rogan, Sylvester Stallone, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, Jon Favreau, Cher, Maya Rudolph, Don Rickles, Jim Breuer
RELEASE DATE: July 8
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Another family film with little to no anticipation element to talk about. Zookeeper stars Kevin James as a…well, zookeeper, who decides he needs to leave his job to find a better one so he can land the girl of his dreams. But the animals at the zoo where he works don’t want him to go, so they reveal that they can talk so that they can help him win her heart.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: This is basically just Paul Blart: Mall Cop mixed with a little Night at the Museum, and that means most of us can expect it will suck in mind boggling ways. But just like with Mr. Popper’s Penguins, it is another flick that might be worth taking the kiddies to.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART II
DIRECTOR: David Yates
STARRING: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Bonnie Wright
RELEASE DATE: July 15
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Could there be a higher anticipation for a movie than what we have for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II? The final Harry Potter movie after a decade of magical movies marks the end of an era for fans of the movies and books alike. It’s all built to this final act, and the excitement to see it all come to a close is matched only by our sadness to see it go. Movies come and go, but something this special being part of our movie-loving lives for this long is a rare thing to be a part of.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: It would be pretty heartbreaking for most if the last Harry Potter movie we’ll ever see ended up being bad, but the chances of this are microscopic. Some of the adaptations we’ve seen over the past ten years haven’t been quite as good as others, but they’ve all be decent films overall and it’s almost a guarantee that Deathly Hallows Part II will tie everything together with fan satisfaction in mind.

WINNIE THE POOH
DIRECTOR: Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall
STARRING: Jim Cummings, Craig Ferguson, Tom Kenny, Travis Oates, Bud Luckey, Jack Boulter, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Wyatt Hall, Huell Howser, John Cleese
RELEASE DATE: July 15
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: This is a new Winnie the Pooh movie, ladies and gentlemen! Along with Cars 2 and Kung Fu Panda 2 this has to be right up there among the most anticipated animated and family films being released this summer. The animations look beautiful and it still has that true classic Pooh feel to it, which is essential.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: I don’t see any way this sucks, but I’ve grown up with Pooh Bear and may be biased. All early signs point to a solid new family flick, but there’s always the chance that it won’t quite hit its stride and pay off like you hope it will.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
DIRECTOR: Joe Johnston
STARRING: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, Stanley Tucci
RELEASE DATE: July 22
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: The second giant Marvel movie behind Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger will most likely be the biggest comic book movie to hit theaters this summer. The movie takes place during World War II and offers a very cool looking ’40s comic vibe brought to life by director Joe Johnston and led by star Chris Evans, who’s part of a very promising cast.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Captain America is one of the most cherished and iconic comic book superheroes of all time, so fans will be watching very carefully to see if the character’s integrity was protected or not. Apart from that, it seems a safe bet to say that The First Avenger looks very promising, and should be a nice catapult to the juggernaut that is next year’s release of The Avengers.

COWBOYS & ALIENS
DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau
STARRING: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell
RELEASE DATE: July 29
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Right up there with Super 8 as one of the summer’s most anticipated movies, Cowboys & Aliens looks to dominate the box office with a Firefly-esque mixture of science fiction with the old west. The movie has an amazing cast led by Daniel Craig and Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, and the trailers we’ve seen so far have left us in awe. Oh, right, there’s one more thing: there’s friggin’ cowboys AND aliens…together!

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Absolutely none here. Not that I can think of anyway. This is director Jon Favreau‘s first movie away from the Iron Man franchise in a few years and it looks like he’s firing on all cylinders with a refreshing new world to play in.

THE SMURFS
DIRECTOR: Raja Gosnell
STARRING: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara
RELEASE DATE: July 29
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: I’ll admit, when it was announced that Hank Azaria would be playing Gargamel in The Smurfs, there was a bit of excitement to see what that looked like. Since then we have seen what it looks like (not so good) and anticipation hasn’t been very high at all. The only thing I can see this movie being good for, is a bunch of kids who have never seen the cartoon and have absolutely no idea what the hell a Smurf is.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: It all really came crashing down when we found out that this movie will also see our favorite childhood cartoon characters remade in CGI and 3D, and that somehow, they would be finding their way to New York City for no reason whatsoever…effectively killing any anticipation that we who used to watch the cartoon might have had. Seriously, why do they all have to stumble into some ridiculous portal and get transported to a city? This might have actually been watchable if they put a little effort into it as an animated family fantasy set where The Smurfs SHOULD be set. Shame on them all.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
DIRECTOR: Rupert Wyatt
STARRING: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, Andy Serkis
RELEASE DATE: August 5
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: At first announcement of a Planet of the Apes prequel, now titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes, there was very little anticipation. After Tim Burton’s failed remake, you can understand why no one would be excited for this at first…but since then we’ve seen the full trailer for the movie and expectations seemed to take a complete 180 — everyone who expected it to be terrible (myself included) was now very much intrigued. Much of this new anticipation is thanks to the work of WETA Digital, the team behind The Lord of the Rings and Avatar, and the god of performance capture himself, Andy Serkis.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Most who first assumed this one would be awful developed this opinion based on the news that instead of using the make-up and costume techniques that had been used in previous Planet of the Apes movies, the apes would be fully computer animated. We’ve since learned that the movie is a prequel and — for the majority of the film anyway — the animals will not be walking and talking and wearing clothing; this is a Day 1 origins story, and the CGI/performance capture technique now looks like the smartest way they could have gone. That said, we can never really know until we see the movie.

FINAL DESTINATION 5
DIRECTOR: Steven Quale
STARRING: Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, David Koechner, Tony Todd, Courtney B. Vance, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood
RELEASE DATE: August 12
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: The only real anticipation for Final Destination 5 (formerly 5NAL DESTINATION *giggle* — smartest title change ever) comes from the most dedicated and faithful of fans. The first two movies weren’t good at all, but they were still considered great horror fun by genre fans, but things haven’t gone well since then. Still, anyone who has enjoyed one of these movies hopes that that level of mindless entertainment can be reached once again in the latest installment. Unlike the Saw movies, these could be a lot of fun for however long they choose to make them, but they have to stay fresh and make the effort instead of just trying to cash in with crap.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: The last couple of Final Destination movies — especially The Final Destination — showed that the franchise had grown incredibly stale and repetitive, which is why there’s little anticipation for a fifth movie. Another looming question is the 3D; one of the worst things about the last movie was its horrible, horrible 3D, and if the filmmakers were smart enough to avoid using it this time around then the suckage factor could lower quite a bit.

30 MINUTES OR LESS
DIRECTOR: Ruben Fleischer
STARRING: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny Mcbride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, Michael Peña, Fred Ward
RELEASE DATE: August 12
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: The Hangover will most likely win out the summer as top comedy, but that won’t stop other movies from trying their damndest to steal the comedy crown. With very few titles being released in the genre, if any underdog is going to rue the day, it looks like it will either be Bridesmaids or this movie, 30 Minutes or Less.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Any movie can LOOK funny if you put together the trailer properly, but far too many times have we seen a funny trailer turn into a very unfunny movie (See: The Other Guys). Let’s hope this flick is as funny as it looks like it can be, but the potential for suckage is not non-existent.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN
DIRECTOR: Marcus Nispel
STARRING: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ron Perlman
RELEASE DATE: August 19
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: If you haven’t already been able to tell, remakes, sequels, and prequels pretty much dominate this summer movie season yet again, and Conan the Barbarian is one of the remakes set to hit theaters.

Conan stars Jason Momoa, who’s currently appearing as Drogo in HBO’s Game of Thrones — a good role to play before he moves to the big screen as the renowned barbarian — and looks like it could be a good time. The originals starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and while pretty cheesy at times, they survive as popular action/fantasy titles. And with director Marcus Nispel behind the camera, the remake could prove to be a bloody good times, fitting to the main character’s savage nature.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: You have to go back to Nispel here, who’s known for remakes like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th. His previous movies are not what you would consider popular, but fans of their existing franchises or horror nuts in general tend to enjoy they for what they are. With that said, you can assume that fans of Conan movies or gruesome battle-heavy flicks will find some entertainment value here, while others will be turned off faster than a frat boy at a truck stop strip club in Montana at noon.

FRIGHT NIGHT
DIRECTOR: Craig Gillespie
STARRING: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, David Tennant
RELEASE DATE: August 19
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: Yet another remake to love or hate, Fright Night re-tells the story of a high school student who finds out a vampire has moved in next door to him that we previously saw in 1985 with William Ragsdale and Chris Sarandon. But instead of expecting the worst, there seems to be a bit of a buzz behind the remake, and recently released images have anticipation growing.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Two things we haven’t seen yet that moviegoers are likely hinging their hopes on, are a trailer and a rating. The original had some comedy elements to it, but it still had a lot of scare factors that can hold up to this day, so people need to see what it it looks like and what kind of vibe it gives off. The original was also R-rated, and anything less than that will certainly be frowned upon.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
DIRECTOR: Troy Nixey
STARRING: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison, Jack Thompson
RELEASE DATE: August 26
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: It wasn’t until last July that producer Guillermo del Toro shared the first footage from Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark at the San Diego Comic Con. Since then one of the clips shown has been released as a trailer for all to see, and anticipation has soared. With anyone else, this movie would have easily been made for a PG-13 rating, but del Toro is one of the few people who recognizes and respects that special tone you can only achieve with an R, and he makes sure to deliver it with promises of a movie so scary and twisted its medal of honor R-rating is only due to “violence and terror.”

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Judging by reactions from those who have seen clips and the trailer we’ve seen paired with the assistance of del Toro, I really can’t see how this one could suck in any way. You may not be into the whole scary movie thing, and if that’s the case this clearly won’t be for you, but for everyone else, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark looks like a great way to get your horror fix before fall arrives.

APOLLO 18
DIRECTOR: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego
STARRING: Unknown, apparently?
RELEASE DATE: August 26
Trailer

ANTICIPATION ELEMENT: The Timur Bekmambetov-produced Apollo 18 picks up the “found footage” phenomena and takes it to the moon. If done correctly, it could absolutely be one of the standout performers of the season, and we all hope to have yet another white-knuckle fearmaker on the way. The trailer shows promise, but it’s still difficult to get a feel for what to expect.

POTENTIAL SUCKAGE FACTOR: Said “found footage” movies aren’t fresh and unique anymore, so you can’t just present anything in that form and expect success. It’s a form of filmmaking that could always be an option, but Apollo 18 needs to show that the movie itself has to be original and entertaining for the film to work as a whole.

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